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A Statement of LOVE For Indonesian Food

CHEF FERNANDO SINDU is a well-respected and highly-spirited young chef from Jakarta. He spends most of his time running his restaurants and is now looking at a few new restaurant projects, but his current obsession is Indonesian flavors.
“I think it is time for Indonesian food to get more attention”, said Chef  Nando.
Many say that Indonesian food is a sleeping giant. But for Nando, there is a sharp difference between the level of popularity compared with the potential of the cuisine. There are endless varieties of flavor spread across the country.
It all started last year when Nando was invited to the Ubud Food Festival and together with FoodieS came up with the idea to present modern Indonesian food at a dinner. After that, this theme has constantly been in his head and actually made him more curious to keep expanding the idea.
For Chef Nando, he likes to dive deeper to learn about Indonesian food because for him it is not just food but also a tradition. “First, understanding the roots. Start from the history to get the very purpose and flavor of the authentic dish”, said Chef Nando. “The next step is to repackaging it by making it tastier, healthier, better, in a modern way.”
Chef Nando also makes it a point to use local produce and wants to go totally local. But sadly, he encountered two issues that made him postpone his idea of going fully local. First, he actually found a few good producers, but cannot find a good distributor. And second, is inconsistency, product and produce quality is still very erratic because of lack of knowledge. “But, going local is a must, we as Indonesians have to be proud of what we have”, said Chef Nando.
One of his favorite recipes is grilled ribs, which is inspired by the traditional dish of Makassar, a braised beef ribs dish called konro “The difference is I am not using kluwek which has a subtle flavor, but after I braised it, I grilled the meat and smeared it with sweet soy sauce”.
Of course, as a true Indonesian, the dish would not be complete without rice. He accompanied the ribs with rice coconut milk rice and then completed the meal with a simple rujak salad which will increase your appetite to the highest levels.
Serves 4
1 pc Unripe Mango, grated
150 gr Mixed Salad
2 pcs Radish, thinly sliced
1 pc Small Onion, thinly sliced
Palm sugar dressing
1/3 cup Palm Sugar
50ml Water
50ml Lime Juice
100ml Oil
5ml Fish Sauce
1 clove Garlic
1 pc Red Chili
Mix all ingredients and stir with palm sugar dressing before serving.
Palm sugar dressing
Blend all ingredients, add chill as needed.
Serves 4
250 gr Rice
250ml Chicken Stock
100 ml Coconut Milk
2 cm Galangal
1 stalk Lemongrass
1 pc Bay Leaf
5 pcs Bird’s Eye Chili
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
¼ cup Petai
Fried Anchovies, sprinkled over rice
Mix all ingredients, including water and coconut milk into rice cooker. Stir evenly.
Season with salt and sugar to reach desired saltiness and richness. Close lid of rice cooker to cook.
Once rice has finished cooking, immediately sprinkle petai, close rice cooker lid and keep for another 5 minutes.
Stir once again before serving.
Sprinkle fried anchovies before serving.
Serves 4
1 kg Beef Ribs with Bone (5 portion cut)
2 cm Galangal, crushed
1 cm Ginger, crushed
1 stalk Lemongrass, crushed
2 pcs Kefir Lime Leaves
500 ml Beef Stock
3 cloves Garlic, chopped finely
9 pcs Shallots, chopped finely
Green chili sambal
100 gr Green Chili
2 pcs Shallots
2 cloves Garlic
2 pcs Kefir Lime Leaves, chopped
5 pcs Green Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
Sear ribs on both sides, until golden brown color.
Add garlic and shallots and stir-fry until fragrant.
Add ginger, lemongrass, and lime leaves. Add stock. close the lid, and slow-cook until tenderness.
Turn stove off and let the ribs simmer.
Before serving, grill ribs and add salt and sweet soy sauce to taste on grilling pan. Serve with Green Chili Sambal.
Green chili sambal
Steam green chili, shallots and garlic until soft.
Grind all ingredients and add hot oil generously.
Add lime leaves and stir-fry briefly.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
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